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Rice supply stable despite El Niño – DA exec

15 February 2024

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesday assured the public there’s no need to worry about the supply of rice in the coming months with ample supply both from importation and local production.

”We will be more comfortable with the consumption. Huwag kayong mag-aalala kung sino iyong mga mahal niyo sa buhay, mayroon pa rin siyang bigas (Don’t worry, whoever may be your loved ones, they will all have rice),” DA Undersecretary Roger Navarro said.

Navarro added that despite the effects of El Niño, the country has a sufficient supply of crop commodities.

“Secretary Kiko (Francisco Tiu-) Laurel just briefed the President that all our crops commodities, especially for rice, corn, pork, and chicken will be stable and there will be no problem in these coming months. So, we don't need to worry, just relax,” he said.

Navarro said the country needs around 2.6 to 2.8 million metric tons or at least 330,000 metric tons of rice import volume per month for the average consumption of 37 metric tons per day.

“To date, we already imported from January to now, something like 590,000 metric tons which is more than what we need for this month… With the coming production come March, until April, May, June, so we will have ample supply of rice,” he said.

He, meanwhile, said the price of rice in the country remains close to its supplier countries like Vietnam and Thailand.

”We are not far (when it comes to prices), and they are supplying us with rice. So, in our words, the challenge (is) more on really stabilizing the supply than price. It’s better to have rice at PHP56 rather than no rice at PHP42,” he said.

Navarro attributed the current market price to the high input prices in the international market, particularly for fertilizers and seeds. (PNA)

Source : pna